Kuwait and the World Bank signed on Tuesday a USD 50 million grant agreement to support the ongoing Palestinian Reform and Development Program (PRDP).
This amount is in addition to the USD 230 million that Kuwait has provided to the PRDP World Bank-administered multi-donor trust fund since 2008.
The agreement was signed by Kuwaiti Ambassador in Washington D.C. Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa region Inger Andersen. World Bank Executive Director and Dean of the Executive Board Merza Hasan witnessed the signing.
"The State of Kuwait is committed to support the Palestinian Authority ... and will remain engaged and committed" to ensure the social and economic well-being of the Palestinian people," said Sheikh Salem.
The contribution will help meet urgent budgetary needs that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is facing, providing inter alia support for education, health care, and other vital social services for the Palestinian people and support for the economic reforms currently underway.
For her part, Andersen said "the PRDP Trust Fund is central in supporting Palestinian reforms and development plans. We are proud of these joint donor efforts to ensure continuity of Palestinian institution-building and better public service delivery." "This support from the State of Kuwait will help the Palestinian (Authority) to bolster reforms to strengthen its fiscal positions and improve public financial management. These are critical building blocks for a future Palestinian state," said Merza Hasan.
The World Bank PRDP Trust Fund was established April 10, 2008, when an agreement was signed between the World Bank and the Palestinian Authority. In addition to Kuwait, the governments of Australia, France, Norway, the UK, and Japan regularly contribute to this fund. With the new contribution from Kuwait, the trust fund will have channeled close to USD 1.3 billion.
In addition, the World Bank has contributed USD 200 million of its own resources (through five Development Policy Grants) to support the budget of the Palestinian Authority.